BLACK BEAUTY - online book

The Autobiography Of A Horse, With Fifty Illustrations.

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check-rein, and then sold me as a perfectly quiet horse to a gentleman in the country; he was a good master, and I was getting on very well, but his old groom left him and a new one came. This man was as hard-tempered and hard-handed as Samson; he always spoke in a rough, impatient voice, and if I did riot move in the stall the moment he wanted me, he would hit me above the hocks with his stable broom or the fork, whichever he might have in his hand. Everything he did was rough, and I began to hate him; he wanted to make me afraid of him, but I was too high-mettled for that, and one day, when he had aggra­vated me more than usual, I bit him, which of course put him in a great rage, and he began to hit me about the head with a riding-whip. After that he never dared to come into my stall again; either my heels or my teeth were ready for him, and he knew it. I was quite quiet with my master, but of course he listened to what the man said, and so I was sold again.
"The same dealer heard of me, and said he thought he knew one place where I should do well. * 'Twas a pity,' he said, 'that such a fine horse should go to the bad for want of a real good chance,' and the end of it was that I came here not long before you did ; but I had then made up my mind that men were my natural enemies and that I must defend myself. Of course it is very different here, but who knows how long it will last ? I wish I could think about things as you do, but I can't, after all I have gone through."
" Well," I said, " I think it would be a real shame if you were to bite or kick John or James."
" I don't mean to," she said, " while they are good to me. I did bite James once pretty sharp, but John said, 'Try her with kindness,' and instead of punishing me as I expected, James came to me with his arm bound up, and brought me a bran mash and stroked me; and I have never snapped at him since, and I won't either."
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